Since Apple introduced the revolutionary iTunes Music store, a lot has changed in the world of digital music. Services like Pandora, Spotify, Sirius and now Tidal have changed the landscape and offered alternative services and features that Apple has not entirely caught up with yet.
How can Apple steal back the Music business? Here are a few suggestions.
1.) Give us an all you can eat subscription service like Spotify that integrates our iTunes Music library. There are many times where I have to choose between listening to new music in Spotify as opposed to my own ripped music because it is not within Spotify's streaming catalog. It's a disruptive and messy situation. iTunes match has my entire music library in the cloud. Combine that with an on-demand streaming service like Spotify, so I can listen to things I don't already own and you've got a complete music solution.
UPDATE - Done! Apple Music service has landed. We're glad that Apple reads our posts ;)
2.) Include a pair of quality, Beats branded earphones with every Apple device sold. Apple owns Beats now and it's time to start taking advantage of the brand and the tech. Include a pair of reasonably engineered (doesn't have to be top of the line) Beats headphones with every Apple device. This includes laptops and desktop computers. Let us hear the difference that your superior earphones will provide. Leverage the Beats brand and improve our listening experience right out of the box.
3.) Integrate iTunes Library into iCloud. There are many times where I want to listen to music, but its not practical to listen on my phone or home computer. Let us integrate our iTunes Match Library into iCloud. The same way all our photos are now available in iCloud and we can view them from any browser, give us the same control over our music library. For many reasons I may not want to setup my icloud account and sync an iTunes library on every computer I sit at. Let us have direct, simple access to our iTunes library via iCloud so we can listen to our music on any computer and any platform.
4.) Bring back a portable device that is large enough to hold my entire music collection. While the streaming service would be a tremendous addition, having a portable version of my entire music collection that does not require wifi is something that is still very desirable. There is certainly an advantage to having your music cloud-based, but that assumes wifi or at the very least eating data from your cellular plan. A small device that could hold all my music, movies and photos and that could have streaming as well as analog connections would give us complete control over our media collections and consume them in a variety of ways. See LaCie Fuel.